Here's a fun dinner casserole you can make for your family or for company. I just made this for our foodie group the other night. I'm sad to confess that I pre-cooked my pumpkin a little too much, which is why it looks so sad in this picture. I'm sure you'll do better if, unlike me, you follow the directions!
1 whole pumpkin 8 - 10 inches in diameter
2 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped (you can also use 1 cup of onion and be fine)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 large cloves, mashed
2 tsp oregano (I used one this last time and that was plenty so experiment with this)
2 tsp capers (this can be optional)
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 lb lean hamburger
3 eggs, beaten
Cut a five inch top from the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and scrape the inside clean. Place in a large pan of salted water and boil until the meat on the sides is tender (30 minutes). Pumpkin should be firm enough to hold its shape. Remove and drain.
Filling: In a large pan fry the hamburger, onions and green pepper. Mix together your spices and add to the meat along with the raisins, olives, capers, and tomato sauce. Cover pan and cook with meat for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Mix in the eggs thoroughly and then stuff your filling in the pumpkin, packing slightly. Cover loosely with the pumpkin lid and bake in a shallow greased baking pan at 350 for 1 hour. Unless you happen to have over-boiled your pumpkin like I did. Than half an hour should do it. If you like, before serving you can rub butter around the upper edges and then sprinkle with granulated sugar to simulate frost.
One final note. If, like me, things like garlic and pepper are no longer your friends, not to worry. You can omit the garlic and pepper in this and use a yellow pepper and still have a very tasty meal with little risk of heartburn.
Happy Halloween and happy eating.